Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pseudo-rabies

Synonym(s): Aujesky's disease, 'mad itch', infectious bulbar paralysis

Contributor(s): Bryn Tennant

Introduction

  • Rare.
    Possible zoonosis - transient severe pruritus in laboratory and farm workers.
  • Cause: suid herpesvirus-1; reservoir host is the pig.
  • Dogs infected by ingestion of pigmeat or other incidental hosts such as cattle, rats.
  • Most commonly seen in farm dogs and packs of hounds.
  • Signs: pruritus, hyperesthesia, and seizures.
  • Death usually occurs within 48 hours.
  • Treatment: no effective therapy.
  • Prognosis: grave.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Suid herpesvirus-1 (an alpha-herpesvirus).
  • First described by Aujesky in Hungary in 1902.
  • Unusually wide host range and short incubation period for a herpesvirus.

Specific

  • Dogs in contact with pigs, eg farm pets.
  • Dogs fed porcine offal, eg packs of hounds.
  • Dogs ingesting incidental hosts, eg rats, cattle or contaminated food.
  • Dog bitten by infected rat.

Pathophysiology

  • Ingestion of virus by dog → local virus replication → pruritus → virus spreads centripetally along nerves → ganglion → spreads throughout central nervous system (CNS).
  • Dogs are infected by ingestion → localized viral replication causes localized, possible severe, pruritus.
  • Virus travels centripetally along peripheral nerves to infect the ganglion and local CNS segment, leading to further localized hyperesthesia/pruritus.
  • Virus spreads throughout CNS causing meningoencephalitis.

Timecourse

  • Short incubation period.
  • Death occurs within 48 hours of clinical signs.

Epidemiology

  • Reservoir host is the pig; pig herds in many countries have endemic infection.
  • Dogs become infected by ingestion of porcine material or ingestion of incidental hosts such as cattle or rats.
  • More rarely, infection of dogs may result from a rat bite.
  • Outbreaks in dogs are sporadic.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sterczer A, Vörös K, Wlador S, Bozso M (1998) Cardiac disease from pseudorabies in a dog. Canine Pract 23 (4), 12-13 VetMedResource.
  • Monroe W E (1989) Clinical signs associated with pseudorabies in dogs. JAVMA 195 (10), 599-602 PubMed.


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